White lies put on an absolute corker in the Mandella Hall, everything about their set was top notch. Lead singer Harry McVeigh didn't tell the audience it was 'the best gig he'd ever played' or �his dads mate's from Ards so he's basically home'- he just came out and launched straight into 'farewell to the fairground'.
The band have received a lot of critical acclaim for their festival performances during the summer, including a great performance at Glastonbury. White Lies have been likened to Joy Division, as well as Interpol and the Editors. Somehow it feels like although similarities aren't too far off the mark, they have built an original sound- current and cool but they still wouldnt be out of place a few decades ago.
I was expecting a very stiff and serious performance from McVeigh but he was quite animated and did a fair bit of moving around. One thing that was clear from his 'air drumming' is the emphasis on the bands use of drums. Throughout the band were absolutely perfect, perhaps too perfect for a student union gig. The band looked neat and suave in black shirts, and a black velvet curtain made for a nice visual on stage.
Before this gig I'd heard a lot of the bands stuff from their album, but was particularly impressed by their performance of the unreleased track 'from the stars'. The band played well known tracks, as well as few old one's that fans will recognize.
From the raised bit of the venue I witnessed the most middle class mosh pit ever to take place - six bespectacled and scarved gent's started a very cautious and gentle mosh pit. Several people behind me seemed to be at the gig by mistake, as they hurled abuse at the band - however by the time the band belted out 'To Loose My Life' they were die hard White Lies fans.
After the encore the band did a 'Talking Heads' cover and 'Unfinished Business'. At this point I got terribly worried that 'Death' wouldnt feature. Thankfully to cap off a storming set they finished with the big hitter, and the crowd got right into it.
The sound was perfect throughout - the pulsating drums and McVeigh's haunting voice combining perfectly. An absolute triumph of a gig from a band who are destined for big things.
Photo: Dimitri Hakke/Redferns